relationship status

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Part of hcard-brainstorming for post-vCard3 additions. Per the microformats process:


relationship status examples

(move to a separate page relationship-status-examples when this section gets too big to include inline)


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Relationship status has two parts, one a discrete enumerated set provided as a select pop-up menu choice:

Added 2011-048:

And then for *some* of those enumerated values, there is an optional field that indicates a person


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Expressed as Singleness: by Flickr, the following mutually-exclusive radio button choices are given:



Relationship Status pop-up menu with the following choices:



Relationship Status pop-up menu with the following choices:



Relationship: pop-up menu with the following choices:


On signup:

relationship status formats

(move to a separate page relationship-status-formats when this section gets too big to include inline)


OpenSocial has a "relationship-status" field, plain text.


XFN was not directly intended as a relationship status format, however, it's use can imply some relationship.

Specifically the following family and romantic values imply relationship status:

relationship status brainstorming

(move to a separate page relationship-status-brainstorming when this section gets too big to include inline)


Full set - union of above examples:

Here is a unified enumerated list of all the above relationship statuses (parenthetical text provided for turning the statuses into sentences and optional person parameter where it might apply, note that not all instances of optional with person parameter have been found in the wild, but they may be possible in UIs - indicated as "possible optional").

From this variety of different values for "relationship-status", here are the ones that appear on more than one of the above-mentioned examples (in frequency order, clustered)

all examples:




While this might be a good start for a set of enumerated values, we lack sufficient data to be confident in such a set. If we had perhaps half dozen or so examples total which showed a clear set of common values, then we could be more confident defining an enum.

Until then, it may make the most sense to simply use a text string value.

In addition to the description of the relationship-status, as noted, some number of values take a "with" parameter referring to a person.

As it's a reference to a person, a link to that person makes the most sense, using XFN on that link to indicate the relationship with/to that person. XFN already has the following rel values which correspond roughly to the above relationship statuses:

For "engaged", there is nothing that corresponds in XFN, e.g. "fiance" or "fiancee" - this may be worthy of writing up as a potential new XFN value on xfn-brainstorming:

For "open", XFN's rel-sweetheart can be used but might not convey sufficient semantics, since rel-sweetheart states "typically exclusively". Thus this is another case where another it might make sense to add another proposal to xfn-brainstorming:

The other relationship values that involve another person (divorced, separated, widowed) so far have no documented examples in the wild which refer to another person, thus it is premature to brainstorm possible XFN values for them.

relationship-status property name

Simple brainstorm proposal: use the property name relationship-status as a class name on an element marking up a textual value / description of the person's relationship status.


<span class="vcard"> 
 <a class="fn url" href="">Alice Exemplar</a>, 
 <span class="relationship-status">single</span>


<span class="vcard"> 
 <a class="fn url" href="">Bob Exemplar</a>, 
 <span class="relationship-status">taken</span> - in a relationship with 
 <a rel="sweetheart" href="">Dana Person</a>


see also

relationship status was last modified: Thursday, January 31st, 2013